Latest update: 02/03/2014
After Mind Over Mutant was released, Radical Entertainment began working on Crash Landed, a new major platformer and a reboot of the series. To accompany this reboot, a sister game was being developed concurrently at the hands of High Impact Games, a studio composed mostly of ex-members of Naughty Dog (the creators of Crash Bandicoot) and Insomniac Games (the creators of Spyro the Dragon, Crash's buddy franchise). This kart racing game, known only by its provisory name Crash Team Racing (not to be confused with the 1999 game of the same name), never saw the light of day, as Crash Landed was canned during development, dragging the racing game along with it. Cancelled in early 2010, it was initially slated for release on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii.
The game was very consistent in style and direction with Crash Landed, going so far as sharing many of its assets, such as character models, visual effects and even items like the firefly bottles. Both games featured Gabriel Mann and Rebecca Kneubuhl as the composers too (curiously, the music in this game was eventually used in Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2, a mobile spin-off). Nothing is known about the game's plot besides the fact that it was advanced by cinematics, keeping in line with true Crash Bandicoot fashion. Like in Crash Landed, the graphics were cel-shaded with a distinct, cartoony feel.
This new Crash Team Racing would have featured several playable characters as usual, but only Crash, Dingodile, Polar and a new character simply called Land Shark (possibly a provisory name) were finished before cancellation. Each character had unique animations and abilities. The amount of characters in each race could go up to a whopping 16, so unless this number was specific to development builds, chances are the game would have contained a large playable cast.
Karts were going to be fully customizable via 12 different mods - the tires, the bumper and the engine had 4 mods each, so you could have as many as 64 different combinations. These mods altered the way your kart behaved and some of them worked in tandem with the tracks' alternate routes or terrain. For example, some tracks had vertical walls you could choose to drive on (ala Crash Nitro Kart) with the help of octopus tires, others had high ledges you could double-jump up to using a frog engine, and so on. This translated into non-linear tracks where you could choose which way to go next, provided you had the necessary mods equipped. There were also plans for flight sequences with physics that involved flapping wings.
The game was going to feature the usual stuff seen in the series's previous kart racers, like powersliding, turbos, weapons/items (most of which were lifted from the original Crash Team Racing) and Wumpa fruits. A new way to keep you busy while racing was pulling off stunts in mid-air. Successful stunts granted speed boosts upon landing, and you could get bigger boosts by chaining stunt combos. Another addition was the inclusion of special moves unique to each character, such as Crash being able to spin into a tornado and Dingodile using his flamethrower.
After the game was cancelled, it was eventually retooled into Dreamworks Superstar Kartz, a racing game that, despite sharing a few similarities with the original Crash version, ended up being vastly different from the initial plans, with most features being removed altogether and much of the original potential going unused.
The playable characters sported the same designs seen in Crash Landed, though it isn't known how many of them besides Crash and Dingodile were going to be featured in both games. Only 4 characters were finalized in the prototype, each with his own stats, animations and special abilities:
The only track that was ever fully completed was named Happy Woods. Its layout was fairly simple, but due to a wider variety than the track name suggests, it had many opportunities for players to familiarize themselves with the gameplay mechanics. This track included high ledges, moving lifts, caves, water, corkscrews and a beach with an enormous whale that could spring onto the road, flattening anyone caught under it. Happy Woods featured beachy music that incorporated bits of the main Twinsanity theme, later re-used in Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2's Bandicoot Beach.
There is concept art for two other tracks: one has a jungle/temple setting with a half-pipe and some rolling spheres. The other one featured giant gears that rotated periodically along with the track, changing its layout.
Mods had a considerable impact on a kart's performance. After being unlocked, they could be used to the racer's advantage by providing different tactical advantages and enabling access to alternate routes. There were 12 different mods (in-game descriptions in italic):
There were 10 different items that could be used during races. Many of them were directly influenced or borrowed from the original 1999 Crash Team Racing. Most, if not all of them, seemed to be working properly. Like in the original CTR, items were picked up from crates spread around the track and picking up 10 Wumpa fruits powered them up. An innovation was that you could hold up to 2 items at once. Some of these were: